Archive | October, 2015

YouTube Will Make Its Premium Videos Shoppable

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YouTube will soon make its video shoppable. It also announced a new ad unit this week called Shopping ads.

YouTube has clearly been preparing for this moment, introducing Cards for related content (including merchandise) and launching TrueView for shopping, which allows advertisers to turn their Google merchant data into product cards. These features are useful for making advertiser videos more shoppable, but Shopping ads take it to an entirely different level as it brings their functionality to all videos on YouTube.

Google indicated that consumers watching something on YouTube will soon see an info icon on the upper right corner of the video. Clicking on that icon will reveal related Cards, including any product ads, and clicking on the ads will direct the user to the merchant website.

Shopping ads will use an auction model (just like Google’s search ads) and targeting based on context and audience will be available. Since advertisers will only pay when a video viewer clicks through to a website, the program will likely be well received.

Understanding The Popular Times in Google SERP

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There’s no shortage of social updates to post, copy to write and ads to run for most Web professionals. This is might be the reason why they may have missed Google’s “popular times” feature launched this past summer – an update designed to save those very people (and others, of course) precious time.

Google searchers can now see the busiest times of the week at millions of places and businesses worldwide directly on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Here’s an example from a Southern California restaurant:

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This is beneficial to businesses as hopefully more people will come during their down times, when shoppers/diners/patrons/customers can receive more individualised attention and avoid long waits.

Business owners may be upset to learn, however, that they cannot claim the “busy hours” themselves. Instead, Google uses a variety of sources users have opted into (likely Google Maps being the main one) to aggregate the data. It could be argued that handing over this feature to company owners could make the data more reliable (someone at the shop will know more than a source relying on the number of people asking for driving directions), but they could also start manipulating the information to best suit them making it less credible, which could hurt them over time.

Currently, businesses do not have the ability to turn down this feature, but they should take this update as further proof of Google’s emphasis on improving the usefulness of local search results, as these queries typically lead to immediate action – making them a lucrative advertising sell as well.

How To Make The Ultimate Viral Video (Infographic)

Online video advertising has changed the way how internet marketing works.

Are you going to join this online battleground0? This infographic dives into what it takes to produce viral videos, offers examples of the most popular branded content of all-time, and provides tips marketers can follow to create share-worthy videos for their companies.

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Infographic credit: Salesforce

Facebook Notification System is Getting More Personal

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Facebook is getting personal with the notifications as it delivers in its mobile app.

The positive feedback shows that people want to see important information in their notifications tab, so they can access all this information in one place. As a result, Facebook is enabling users to customise timely information to display in the notifications tab, including friends’ milestones like birthdays and life events, sports scores and TV reminders based on Pages a user has liked and information on upcoming events that users have joined.

In addition, users can add information that is tailored to them based on where they are if the location history setting is enabled for the Facebook app. This information includes things happening around the community, weather updates, movies playing in nearby theaters and a list of nearby places to eat with links to the places’ Facebook Pages and reviews.

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It is important to note that this update does not change a user’s current notification settings, but they can be adjusted at any time within the settings menu. Users can also customise the information they see by tapping the arrow to the right of each card, as well as add more cards at the bottom of the tab.

Facebook notes that it will continue to listen to feedback and add more cards to choose from periodically. These new options are being rolled out gradually to Android and iPhone users in the US.

Is Mobile-Specified Content The Next Trend in Marketing?

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Have you ever heard of the term “mobile gap”? Mobile usage is vastly increasing, yet publisher ad revenue isn’t keeping its pace.

At the same time, another gap has opened. This one is between the time that consumers spend on mobile and marketers’ commitment to mobile content. As of last year, mobile is the most-used digital platform. Time spent with digital media on mobile has grown 90 percent in the last two years and in 2015, consumers will watch 39 minutes of video a day on mobile devices.

It’s not that people are abandoning their desktops completely. It’s just that they’re spending significantly more time on mobile apps and the mobile web. As expected, marketers are taking action. Mobile advertising is on the rise, with investments expected to surpass desktop ad spending by the end of the year. Will this issue end soon? In spite of increased mobile activity, many mobile mediums—like games and messaging—present an advertising challenge. Although video ads are proving to be highly engaging on small screens, some marketers still struggle to make a true connection with customers through mobile.

Putting mobile users first

One solution to brands’ mobile problem may be to create more content and, in particular, offer it exclusively through mobile. Brands of all kinds have been experimenting with this tactic in recent months. In July, Doritos launched its first mobile-only campaign, enlisting social media influencers to create 3D videos that are only available to mobile users.

It’s a twist on the mobile-first concept we know, which typically involves brands developing content with mobile user behavior and screen constraints in mind. Rather than create a video and optimise it for mobile devices, these brands are creating fun and interactive content exclusively for mobile users.

Leveraging mobile apps

Mobile technology company Zumobi, which has worked with such brands as CoverGirl, Mercedes-Benz, and Snickers, agrees that the time has come for brands to make mobile content a bigger part of their campaigns. Mobile app usage has increased by 63 percent over the past two years, with consumers now clocking more than 37 hours per month. As of 2014, mobile app usage made up 52 percent of total media engagement. A large portion of this time goes to social networking, gaming, or radio. Facebook and YouTube rank among the top mobile apps in terms of unique visitors. Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus, Snapchat, and Kik all make the top 25.

To reach this sizable audience, Heineken made its new TV spot, which promoted its sponsorship of the upcoming James Bond film Spectre, available to Facebook mobile users first. The brand is also inviting smartphone-carrying consumers to scan limited edition Bond-themed products in-store for a chance to win free movie tickets and access behind-the-scenes video footage.

“Our launch with Facebook mobile allows us to quickly reach and engage with a large and extremely targeted audience, while the 1 in 007 free movie ticket promotion actively drives sales and secures in-store displays for the brand,” Ralph Riis, senior vice president of marketing at Heineken USA, told Mobile Marketer.

To promote the early October finale of Fear the Walking Dead, AMC partnered with T-Mobile and Shazam to give mobile users an exclusive bonus video when they used the music recognition app during the show’s premiere.

When developing content for brand apps, Schimke says marketers don’t need to “reinvent the content wheel.” She does, however, recommend offering a mix of both existing and new content.

Zumobi client Bank of America recently took this approach to promote its sponsorship of the Special Olympics. They filled the Bank of America app with inspiring multimedia stories of Special Olympics athletes, some of which couldn’t be seen anywhere else. “Once a brand has injected all content assets into the app, they can leverage dynamic mobile banners and interstitials to drive traffic back to it,” Schimke explained.

Ultimately, these brands are succeeding by taking a mobile-first approach to their content marketing, and the rest of the industry should follow suit. Internet users have wholeheartedly embraced apps and the mobile web. It’s time for brands to keep pace and close the gap.

The Mixology of Content Marketing (Infographic)

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Almost 69 percent of digital marketers creating more content now than they did one year ago. It’s clear that business want to create more engaging, higher quality content for the sake of their company’s reputation.

In today’s digital age where reliable and factual digital content is valuable, delivering pitch perfect content to a receptive audience means serving up accurate information in a way that makes it easy to swallow. Get your measures wrong and the mix is a disaster.

Take a look at below infographic and browse through the content cocktail menu. Start creating the sort of content guaranteed to shake audiences up right away!

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Infographic credit: JBH

Starbuck Is Introducing Its Halloween-Themed Drinks For Their Customers

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Halloween is coming and Starbucks is stealing the momentum by releasing a ‘scary’ drinks.

Marketers all around the world should learn from Starbucks when it comes to seize the opportunity. Ordering a fall beverage at Starbucks in the last week of October is typically limited to something hot, but for the last four days of the month, the company will be offering a new vampire-inspired Frappuccino called the Frappula Frappuccino.

Starbucks explains that the spooky beverage starts with a mocha sauce base, followed by a dollop of whipped cream. Next, white chocolate mocha Frappuccino is added, and layered with raspberry syrup around the rim, which essentially looks like you’re drinking a bloody Frap. The drink is then also topped with whipped cream as well.

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The drink will be available from Oct. 28-31 in the United States. Canada gets an extra day and the new Frappuccino will be available in from Oct. 28 through Nov. 1. If you aren’t located in the U.S. or Canada, Starbucks says that the drink will be available in select markets starting the week of Oct. 25.

The Science Behind Most Wonderful (and Popular) Infographic

Curious on how to make a good infographic for your daily blog post? This infographic is for you.

In partnership with Buzzsumo, Siege analyzed the 1,000 most-shared infographics of the past year to find out what they had in common—and what advertisers can use to make their multimedia assets more shareable. Let’s just say this: Before you start stressing over the actual content of your infographic, there are easy format and distribution tips you can use to make your infographics pop.

Speaking of industries, infographics about health do best on Facebook and Pinterest, while infographics about social media are shared more on Twitter. Additionally, you might be able to get away with wordier infographics on Twitter, seeing as the most-shared infographics on the platform average of 442 words.

To find out more for yourself, take a look at the infographic below.

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Infographic credit: Siege Media and Buzzsumo.

Twitter Launched World Series-Related TV Commercial, Trying To Grab Younger Audiences’ Attention

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During its Q3 earnings call, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey says that the company would be running a new TV commercial during the World Series.

This new commercial was done by the same group that did the Apple’s 1984 campaign. While it’s not the first commercial by Twitter, it does look like the beginnings of an actual “campaign.” Twitter is looking to go after the younger crowd.

While currently Twitter Moments are interesting to watch for the general public, it might fail to grip for someone who’s on the fence or leaning towards consuming their tweets on CNN or ESPN. The key is slowing down the service in a consumable way for folks who aren’t hardcore real-time users, young or old. The product itself does that pretty well, letting you catch up on stories of all types at your own pace. Take a look at the video below.

The commercial doesn’t necessarily reflect that as everything zooms by on the screen, even though it all ends up being reflected in the calmer Moments setting. Will people who forgot all about Twitter’s actual product and haven’t seen it in quite a while take a second look after seeing this? They will, if they 

OnHub: The Lovely Wi-Fi Router From Google and ASUS

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Google is teamed up with ASUS to start building the OnHub router that they’ve announced in August.

Google said that it wanted to “give you Wi-Fi that’s fast, secure, and easy to use.” Today, Google and ASUS announced that they’re working together on a version of OnHub which will run you $219.99, $20 more than Google’s original OnHub (TP-LINK).

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Google and ASUS OnHub

Why is it more expensive? Well, it does have a nifty new feature called “Wave Control,” which lets you speed up your Wi-Fi for a specific device by waving your hand over the top of it. Sounds like a bit of voodoo magic, but Google says it works like a charm.

In addition to the new OnHub device, Google announced that it will ship the first software update for the devices which will help it intelligently decide which antennas to use to beam Internet your way, based on how you’re holding them, which room they’re in, etc.

Both devices are available on Google Play, yet the ASUS is only up for pre-order at the moment with a promised release date of early November. They both look like trashcans to me and I’ve yet to play with one. We’ll let you know when we do, though.